Episode 84: Elkins-Morgan-Edmar

April 8, 2007 · Print This Article

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This week’s show is top notch, grade A stuff, Jack, and you sure don’t want to miss it. Art, religion, smurfs, Dungeons and Dragons, Duncan rattling on like an old man about how kids today just don’t understand punk rock, AND the show closes with Richard’s favorite music cue in the entire run of the program, a little pop diddy on Marx and Mao. A show with something for everyone.

Duncan and Terri talk to James Elkins and David Morgan about the forthcoming roundtable…

On April 17, SAIC professor and critic James Elkins reignites the discussion with the
provocative Re-Enchantment Roundtable. The roundtable and associated events gather
together secular and religious thinkers who rarely share discourse: artists, scholars and
art critics-and religionists interested in art. Panelists will include Thierry de Duve,
Gregg Bordowitz, David Morgan, Kajri Jain, Tomoko Masuzawa, and Wendy Doniger.
The day long discussion is intended to span the full diversity of opinions, from those
who think contemporary art is already “religious,” to those who believe art should have
nothing to do with religious faith.

Duncan and Edmar discuss the Lumpen Juggernaut’s new building project and HQ, the Version festival, art madness on the river and Half-Elves that are chaotic good.

Hot damn.

Dungeons and Dragons
James Elkins
David Morgan
Re-Enchantment Roundtable
Ed Marszewski
Version 07
Wassily Kandinsky
Clement Greenberg
Franz Marc
Barnett Newman
Tim Clark
Michael Hopkins
Bill Viola
Mark Rothko
Piet Mondrian
Christo & Jean Claude
Sol Lewitt
Immanuel Kant
Anselm Kiefer
Sigmar Polke
Gerhard Richter
Jesse Helms
Richard Nixon
Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama
Thomas Kinkade
American Hardcore
Art Chicago
Games Workshop
Joffrey Ballet
Stanley Tigerman
Chicago ART Project

Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_84_Elkins-Morgan-Edmar.mp3

20 thoughts on “Episode 84: Elkins-Morgan-Edmar”

  1. Bahl Zack says:

    I’ve seen the smurf ad, upsetting! Great show, the sound is still a bit weird on the Elkins bit, but much better than show.

    The Elkins roundtable sounds interesting, I’ll have to check it out.

  2. Michael Angelo says:

    After hearing that song at the end of the show I have decided to embrace marxism and reform my whole lifestyle to overthrowing the capitalist system!

    Thanks BAS.

  3. Michael Workman says:

    No opinions, thoughts, enervating screeds on the death of Sol LeWitt?


  4. Richard says:

    He seemed like a solid, decent guy, I like some of his work, he certianly had a vision and a wonderful sense of formalism. I will be sure to put a 40 oz into the ground in front of the MCA tonight.

  5. duncan. says:

    What what….

  6. duncan. says:

    Why are people posting as me?

  7. Samwell says:

    Because Duncan you are ever so hot…

  8. katie sehr says:

    yes, i heart elkins. I am reading What Painting Is. Lovin’ it.

  9. James Cole says:

    Great Show. From a nice Catholic Boy.

  10. I missed the part of the art world where art gave up on transcendence, but maybe that’s just my ignorance again. Isn’t the very idea of art dependent on seeing things or perceiving things or feeling things that are beyond the simple visual stimuli of what we see before us? Isn’t that why looking at art is supposed to be more profound than looking at, say, a toaster oven? That it isn’t just “hey, a toaster/the color blue” but “hey, that’s beautiful/meaningful/ecstatic/disgusting/moving”? Greenberg can say whatever he wants, but if I find a spiritually resonant meditative emptying of the self and embracing of the nothing in some bit of modernist painting, his yap doesn’t illegitimize my reaction.

    But maybe I’m overgeneralizing from my own experience with art, or making the definition of transcendence overbroad.

    The religion in art issue seems a separate one; I mean, sure, religion is given the old hairy eyeball, but that’s because mainstream evangelical christianity is based on unquestioning belief in some fairly nutty shit, and a frequently very conservative stance on the world’s social issues, whereas art seems to be rooted in questioning beliefs and not necessarily just grabbing ankles to societal norms. Are there spiritual practices out there that are more based in questioning things? Well, yes, but ‘religion’ in the mainstream american sense has come to stand for “conservative non-thinking,” rather than “introspective quest for knowledge of the self and others” and I think that is behind the general art-reaction against it.

    I felt like these two issues were overlapping a lot in the discussion, and that the second, easy argument got in the way of the first, more complex one. Not a criticism of the interview (it would probably take several hours to get through it all, and I seem to recall a BAS interview with Elkins from a while ago that did just that) but I’d be interested to see how the panel hashes it out.

    …and i suppose i should go read jimmy’s book.

  11. ps- during the nine (blush) years I played AD&D, i was always a chaotic-neutral halfling thief.

    which, frankly, seems pretty accurate.

  12. Richard says:

    The overlap between the art community and the nerd community is vast.

    Richard “If it’s dorky, I’ve been involved with it at some point” Holland

  13. J. Tallarico says:

    Hey this podcast is pretty cool.

    Its pretty tough to get aspects of religion across to viewers in fine art, without being completely literal or seeming reactionary without conveying personal stance. The very nature of upholding an art object as something with spiritual value disagrees with the basic structure of many religions, and becomes very easy to be deemed offensive.

    I think that a lot of contemporary sequential artists have tackled the subject of religion with great success. Maybe due to the narrative aspect of comics (and the narrative aspect of someone’s personal religious discourse) they can convey more feelings and instances of thier personal history with religeon, having the advantage of keeping the attention span of the viewer for pages at a time, many contemporary gallery artists only have a few minutes (and limited gallery space) in which to present thier beliefs and ideas to an audience. Various R. Crumb Strips, Craig Thompson’s Blankets, and Eisner’s A contract with God, , Jack Chick Tracts are just some examples. Apparently Crumb is currently working on a version of the first book of Genesis.

  14. Can you imagine Chick tracts illustrated by Crumb?!? That would be freakin’ awesome.

    Man. I’d get saved, but quick.

  15. J. Tallarico says:

    haha, would be awesome but I dont think thats what we’ll be getting in Crumb’s endeavor. I dont know why but Ive seen someone else take on chick style comics??? not sure who.

    Did run across this though:

    religious affiliation of comic book characters

    Woulda never pinned Captain Canuck as a latter-day saint.

  16. katie sehr says:

    wow. i like this weeks podcast.

    I remember distinctly having an art history professor end a seminar (UB undergrad) with this analogy of the artist’s wings and Kiefer’s landscape painting (the title is long gone from memory). Artist as angel…artist as medium…and so forth was taught or inserted into my psyche somewhere along my education although it is dilusional in a way, with a combination of tragedy and wisdom through my own experiences… I developed a meditational practice. I have almost no knowledge of religious history other than some philosophy coarses and the History channel. I don’t know how art making can be seperated from religion but maybe I am too naive to think otherwise. Professors do influence their students and I think that too had a part in my education. This is such an interesting topic for me and I wish I could go to the round table discussion. I thank you BAS!

  17. Was that last bit (before the marxist song) a skit, or was that real life?

  18. Richard says:


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